Rebuild plans take big step forward

Perryfields Academy and Broadleaf Partnership Trust are delighted to confirm plans to completely revitalise our Oldbury home have taken a major step forward, with a feasibility study for the project now underway.

Experts from the Department for Education have already been on site, and will spend the next 16 weeks plotting the best way forward to redevelop the base on Oldacre Road.

Discussions are ongoing as to whether some of the existing buildings can be incorporated into the new layout, or whether a complete rebuild is needed, but Headteacher Clare Harris says this is an important step towards providing community facilities for everyone: “We’re immensely proud to be in this area, and we want people to be proud of us.”

“One of the things we’ve talked a lot about recently is we’re on a journey of improvement. Our students and staff are working incredibly hard in so many areas, and if we can give them buildings to match that spirit it’ll be so exciting to see where we can go.

The project has been a key focus since Perryfields joined Broadleaf Partnership Trust in 2021, with an announcement a year later Government help had been secured to replace what was deemed ‘significantly deteriorating facilities’.

Mrs Harris says being part of the Trust has been invaluable: “Coming out of Local Authority control was a big step, but the support we’ve had from Broadleaf, the way they’ve really pushed for this really fills me with hope. It makes such a difference knowing someone is fighting for you in the same way you fight for the students and parents who come here.”

For Broadleaf, Chief Executive Claire Pritchard says they’re happy to get the project moving, but the hard work isn’t over yet: “We’re hoping to get the outline options and drawn plans for the project soon and we can’t wait to share those with parents, carers and the community. This is a really exciting time but also we know we can’t stop.”

“Perryfields was a school that desperately needed real investment; to help deliver that, to deliver a site to be proud of, and to deliver for the community our school serves will be one of the proudest achievements we could ever imagine.”

Once the final plans are signed off by the DfE, it’s expected to be at least a 2 year process before the new facilities are ready, but Headteacher Clare Harris says everything will be done in the best interests of current and prospective students: “Our existing buildings are challenging, and continuing to deliver the best teaching possible with construction taking place on site won’t be easy. But we’re up for the challenge, because we know what this will do for our School long term.”

“Through Claire’s work at Broadleaf we are already reaching out to our feeder schools to let them know what’s happening, and so we can consult with future students and parents too because this affects so many of us.”

“Our school motto is ‘Together we achieve excellence’ and ‘together’ is the key word. Perryfields, Broadleaf, our students, our community, we’re all in this together and I’m so excited for the rest of this journey.”

Broadleaf CEO Claire Pritchard added: “This is a once in a lifetime chance to get this right for our community, so getting the views and perspective from those schools that feed into Perryfields is crucial.”

“We want to understand the emerging needs of pupils as well as fostering spaces that encourage sports, arts and other extra-curricular activities families are interested in, so we can hopefully provide facilities that are potentially lacking in Sandwell.”